Gov. Rick Scott Holds Ceremonial Bill Signing
Orlando, FL (August 22, 2013) – Gov. Rick Scott today honored self-advocates at The Arc of Florida for their work to pass Senate Bill 142, the Intellectual Disabilities Bill, during the 2013 Legislative Session. The bill was passed unanimously by the Florida Legislature in April and officially signed into law by Scott in June. The governor and self-advocates celebrated the achievement at a ceremonial bill signing.
“After three years of working to pass this legislation, self-advocates of The Arc of Florida were delighted to see legislators pass it unanimously and are thankful to Governor Scott for signing it,” said Deborah Linton, executive director of The Arc of Florida. “Removing the r-word from state statutes will not end bullying in Florida, but it shows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that they are respected.”
The Arc of Florida’s End the R-word in Florida campaign featured Floridians with intellectual disabilities and their stories of being ridiculed and bullied. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Thad Altman and Rep. Janet Adkins. It removes all references to “mental retardation” in state law and replaces them with “intellectual disabilities.” The changes took effect on July 1.